I am almost back to my best: KP

I am almost back to my best: KP

Hampshire-man all set to lead Englands batting against South Africa

I am almost back to my best: KP

Gearing up: England’s Kevin Pietersen (left) and James Anderson during a training session on Friday. Reuters

Pietersen underwent surgery in July and missed the last there Ashes Tests but he showed glimpses of a return to form in scoring 81 in the second innings of the drawn first Test against South Africa last week.

"Technically-wise I think I am almost back to my best," Pietersen told a news conference. "Learning to trust my leg was a big thing for me but I am almost there and hopefully the consistent batting will come back at some stage and I think I am almost there," he added.

The 29-year-old's innings was ended by a run out after he set off for a tight single only for his partner Jonathan Trott to remain firmly rooted in his crease. Pietersen said he accepted full responsibility for his dismissal. "That run-out was my fault and I held my hands up and apologised for it. It was just a bit of a brain freeze. Well, not really a brain freeze, it was a case of trying to rotate the strike.

"It is the way that I play. I make mistakes but I was actually really restrained all day and played an innings that is not typically me. Even the dismissal was restrained. It was played right under the eyes and I just misjudged a run."  Pietersen said that although his partnership with Trott ended in unfortunate circumstances the 145-run stand the duo shared was crucial.  "The important thing was that three and four batted in a partnership," he said. "Paul Collingwood, at five, and myself have formed a good partnership of the last few years in terms of how we have gone about things.

"Our top-order has always been 20 for three or 10 for two and if we can get some consistency so that one, two, three, four, five and six can bat really well together and build partnerships then, for the England cricket team, it will be magnificent." England meet SAa in the second Test of the four-match series at Kingsmead in Durban, starting on Saturday.

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